Kids Bike Sizes: Choosing Right Bike for Your Child


When buying a bike for your child, it’s important to know whether he’ll feel comfortable when riding it. If a bike is too small, he’ll feel confined and possibly even embarrassed when resting on it. If it’s too big, he might be afraid of losing control of the bike. Using basic standards for your child’s age and leg length will help you to select a bike that’s a great fit.

How to Choose Right Bike for Your Child

According to the International Bicycle Fund, the majority of children start riding a two-wheeler bike between the ages of 3 and 4, typically with the aid of training wheels. In between the ages of 4 and 8, they’ve grown adequately in physical coordination and agility to stop using training wheels. Nevertheless, a lot of children require a bike equipped with roller-coaster brakes until they’re about 5 years of ages, since using hand brakes needs strength and coordination. In addition, a child has to have an interest in learning to ride a bike, which might not occur till he’s 10 years old.

What Size Bike Does Your Kid Need?

Unlike adult bikes, which are sized by frame and seat height, children’s bikes are sized according to the size of their wheels. Children’s bike sizes begin with 12-inch size wheels and increase in 2-inch increments, ending with 24 inches. However, 14-inch and 18-inch diameter wheels aren’t normally offered. The most common wheel sizes are 12, 16, 20 and 24 inches.

bike size vs height

A Guide to Bike Size by Age

The Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative offers basic age standards for selecting children’s bike sizes. In general, children between the ages of 3 and 5 can easily use bikes with 12-inch diameter wheels. Kids in between 4 and 7 years of ages will need 16-inch wheels, 5- to 10-year-olds need 20-inch wheels and kids from 8 to 14 years old will need a bike with 24-inch size wheels. These basic age classifications overlap to enable height and strength distinctions amongst individual children.

Children`s bikes (including balance)

Rider age or height Sugested wheel size
Age Feet/Inches Cms Size
2-5 years 2`10-3`7` 85-110 cm Balance bikes
2-4 years 2`10-3`4` 85-100 cm 12″ wheel diameter
3-5 years 3`1`-3`7` 95-110 cm 14″wheel diameter
5-7 years 3`7`-4`0` 110-120 cm 16″ wheel diameter
7-9 years 4`0`-4`5` 120-135 cm 20″ wheel diameter
9-11 years 4`5`-4`9` 135-145 cm 24″ wheel diameter
11+years 4`9`+ 145+ 26″ wheel diameter

A Guide to Bike Size by Height

The International Bicycle Fund recommends using your child’s age and inseam measurement as a beginning point for picking a bike. The inseam is the length of the leg, measured on the within from crotch to ankle. In general, children ages 2 to 4 with 14- to 17-inch inseams require 12-inch wheels, ages 4 to 6 with 16- to 20-inch inseams require 14-inch wheels, ages 5 to 8 with 18- to 22-inch inseams need 16-inch wheels, ages 6 to 9 with 20- to 24-inch inseams require 18-inch wheels, ages 7 to 10 with 22- to 25-inch inseams require 20-inch wheels, and kids 9 years and older with 24- to 28-inch inseams require 24-inch wheels. The ages and inseam measurements overlap to enable individual height differences. Given that the 14-inch and 18-inch wheel sizes aren’t commonly offered, if you figure out that your child needs one of those sizes, you’ll most likely have to experiment with other sizes.

Other Considerations

Take your child with you when you pick a bike. Customer Search advises that you have your child sit on the bike’s seat and hold the handlebars. Because position, the balls of her feet should be on the ground. For a young boy’s bike, have him straddle the top bar. He should have a 1-inch clearance. Because some bike designs are styled in a different way, the wheel-size guide might not be accurate. If the bike you select has a smaller sized frame due to its style, its top bar may be lower than other bikes. Make certain that the bike fits your child according to his leg length.

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